STEAM-athlon challenges students in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics

MORE than 50 students have taken part in an academic triathlon focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

The event, held at Cleveland State School, had a marine focus.

In its second year, the STEAM-athlon was the brain-child of Cleveland State School principal Mark Ionn and teacher Bianca Seaton.

This year teachers from seven schools, led by Cleveland State School’s Shane Fagg, organised the event as the Bayside Cluster STEAM-athlon.

Mr Fagg said the event was designed to challenge, engage, enrich and celebrate the learning success of academically talented students from seven schools.

“Key to the success is a partnership with Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation to bring real life contexts for students,” Mr Fagg said.

Sharks provided a focus for activities, enabling students to solve real-life problems.

“What was most amazing on the day were the number of concepts raised by student teams that closely mirrored actual scientific research in the field.”

A Cleveland District State High School team won the event, while teams from Thornlands State School came second and third.

Cleveland State School principal Mark Ionn said the STEAM-athlon was designed to engage students with challenges of environmental protection, spark new ideas and develop problem-solving skills.

“Our school developed this initiative last year in response to local, state and national research on the importance of STEAM education,” Mr Ionn said.

“The students’ enthusiasm and ingenuity in tackling the challenges inspired us to not only hold the event again this year but to find ways to have more students involved.

“We know that to be prepared for the jobs of the future, students need to be able to think creatively and apply their skills to solve challenges and develop new products and services.”

Mr Ionn said events like the STEAM-athlon allowed students to test their abilities, work as teams, showcase their talents and make new connections.

“It is really uplifting to see students as young as 10 years identifying practical solutions to real-world problems,” Mr Ionn said.